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Lions Roar : January 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN Network A DIRECTORY OF MEDITATION, YOGA CENTERS RETREAT, AND Enlightened Society continued from page 55 Breathing mindfully brings us back to our bodies. We have to acknowledge our bodies first because tension and suffer- ing accumulate in the body. Breathing in this way, we create a kind of family reunion between mind and body. The mind becomes an embodied mind. If we are truly aware, we know there is tension and pain in our bodies. We can’t do our best if we don’t know how to release the tension and the pain in ourselves. Breathing in, I’m aware of tension in my body. Breathing out, I release all the tension in my body. We can do something right away to improve ourselves and release our tension and suffering so we can see and act more clearly. With our mindful breathing, body and mind come together, established in the here and now, and we can more easily handle the difficult situations in our lives. Mindful breathing brings more well-being into our bodies. In one breath we can rec- ognize and release the tension within us. We can use our in-breath and out- breath to help us notice the painful feel- ings inside us. With our in-breath we can acknowledge these feelings and with our out-breath we can let them go. Breathing in, I am aware of a painful feeling arising. Breathing out, I release the painful feeling. This is a nonviolent and gentle way to help our bodies release tension and pain. It is possible to practice mindful breath- ing in order to produce a feeling of joy, a feeling of happiness. When we are well- nourished and know how to create joy, then we are strong enough to handle the deep pain within ourselves and the world. With one in-breath and out-breath, we can practice all the four noble truths: we acknowledge our tension or pain and call it by its true name; we release it and let well-being arise. ♦ From Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society by Thich Nhat Hanh (2012), with permission of Par- allax Press, Berkeley, California. california AGAINST THE STREAM BUDDHIST MEDITATION SOCIETY 4300 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. (323) 665- 4300, Fax: (323) 665-4404,